Tourer comparison test Moto Guzzi Norge and BMW R RT


Tourer comparison test Moto Guzzi Norge and BMW R RT

Tourer comparison test Moto Guzzi Norge and BMW R RT

End of the line sea addiction

Come on: on a cruise from the Staffelsee via Lake Como to Lake Constance with two thick touring ships. Can the Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT hold a candle to the established BMW R 1200 RT?

It’s 5:36 p.m., it’s 18 degrees Celsius, and the on-board entertainment is on SWR 3. Or would you prefer a CD? The left lane of the A 8 opens. Full speed ahead! With the windshield up and heavenly calm, the RT sweeps across the track. Six is ​​emblazoned in the gear display, fresh fuel has to be bunkered after a good five hundred kilometers. No doubt, sea trips with the Bavarian touring steamer R 1200 RT have their own charm. Many leisure time captains see it this way: Behind the GS, the travel flagship RT is the best-selling BMW.

A sleek Italian cruiser is now operating in their fairway. The Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT looks much more delicate, but is only ten kilos lighter than the 285 kilogram BMW. The two are also otherwise similar. Both come from traditional shipyards. BMW put the characteristic two-cylinder boxer in the engine room as early as 1923 and launched the R 100 RT in 1978 as the ancestor of all luxury tourers. M.oto Guzzi is fully calibrated to the 90-degree V2. Reminiscence of the V7 laid down in Kiel in 1965.

The two-valve engine from the Norge, based on the Breva 1100, now comes with more bore and stroke, sending its 95 pistons on an 81-millimeter journey between dead centers. All in all, that’s 1151 cm3 displacement. The shorter-stroke BMW competes with 1170 cm3. Standard here and there: air cooling, large oil cooler, injection, double ignition and G-Kat. Furthermore, six-speed gearbox, hydraulically operated dry clutch and massive cardan single-sided swing arm with torque support. The stainless steel silencer sits on the left as a soloist.

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Tourer comparison test Moto Guzzi Norge and BMW R RT

Tourer comparison test Moto Guzzi Norge and BMW R RT
End of the line sea addiction

Equipment and driving behavior


Close to each other and yet clearly different.

As standard equipment for both on board: ABS, case, large full fairing with adjustable window, electric with the BMW, manual with the GT variant of the Norge, main stand. The RT is equipped with an immobilizer and socket ex works, the Norge with heated handles. And at the helm of the silver luxury liner, tester Sven, an avowed sports driver, has a lot of fun. "When I see a lake, I don’t need the sea anymore." The Guzzi glides over the railway like a sedan chair, comfortably fishing transverse joints and cracks out of the asphalt. Everything stays calm on the bridge. The helmet is quiet and free of turbulence. At least with smaller captains.

When the window is up, they constantly look through the porthole, just like on the BMW. The height of the Norge washer can be adjusted by five centimeters using a rotary knob and a 13 mm cap nut ?? a case for the tool kit. In the highest position, turbulence occurs on the left and right of the hull, that of the driver, not the ship. These whirlpools of wind are also transferred to the steering, sometimes causing the steamer to stir minimally around the steering head. Keyword top speed: Although Moto Guzzi reports 220 km / h as Vmax, the Norge only scratches the 200 mark. Even if the speedometer, which is far ahead, pretends otherwise.

The RT lies even quieter and more relaxed, straightforwardly unshakable. And that with several knots more (223 km / h). Your windshield has the format of a square sail. In the lower position it is loud, but a different height is infinitely variable and set at the push of a button. We are now circling around the Ammersee, at Andechs Monastery, around hordes of tourists. When maneuvering the BMW racing car, one would like a port tug. The load is high and difficult to balance from the vertical. Nothing for the little man. First put the driver’s seat low. Oh, was already deep, at least 83 centimeters.

It is much more contemplative at the Staffelsee. The shore with a view of the granite islands is just the right place to relax and unwind, your feet too. The angular-edged BMW is simply huge, in height, width, length, the cladding looks massive. Our bike is a solid castle. Intuitively, the Norge appears more pleasing, elegant and rounded. It sails much more sensually to wherever you want. Course southwest. Once the engine is started, it says more than a thousand words. With every throttle while standing, the Signora rolls pronounced to the right, like a dinghy in the swell. Original, simply charming.

What is annoying about the slope, however, is that it must first be idle to start. The bumper V2 hums pleasantly. It thuds wonderfully from the bold chrome-plated silencer, dull and full it holds back from the tunnel walls and galleries. The airbox grumbles deeply, the valves tickle happily in front of you. This engine is alive! In contrast, the thin sewing machine sound of a BMW boxer really doesn’t tear you out of your (heated) saddle. Sounds like Aunt Kathe’s old Pfaff. The RT explains itself via radio, not emotion.

Gas and brakes


Comfortable long-distance ships from Bavaria …

Automobile tourists from all over the world meet at the foot of Neuschwanstein Castle. Let’s get away. The flat twin accelerates in a sporty and rapid manner: from zero to a hundred in just under four seconds. The Bayern-Kradl gets down to business beyond the 5000 tours. When it comes to pulling through up to 180, the Guzzi bravely keeps up, and from 4000 rpm is really peppery. Even if the Italo two-cylinder only releases 82 instead of the promised 93 hp. Their even more violent load change shocks compared to the RT are annoying when accelerating to accelerator at lower speeds and gears. No ocean liner has so much play in the drive train. Your clutch requires a lot of power, but the gears slide quite smoothly. By BMW standards, they do that in the touring tourer too. Gears four to six can be engaged quietly and gently, the lower gears a little rougher, especially when downshifting. We move on, over the winding Hahntennjoch. When its huge scree slopes, the mudslides, together with the crippled pines start to slide … The Guzzi arm itself against sudden obstacles with a finely regulated Brembo ABS. It can even be switched off? for off-road insoles?


… and from Lombardy.

The golden four-piston calipers from the same manufacturer bite the 320 mm discs with feeling, despite the significant increase in hand force over the lever path. The rear stopper operates completely separately. On the other hand, the RT brakes partially integrally: the hand lever accesses all three brake discs, the foot pedal only towards the rear, which is good for short journeys and when turning. Which is even possible on the palm of your hand because of the huge steering angle. The brake booster whines annoyingly and makes sensitive application of the brake pads difficult. The control behavior, with sometimes long opening phases on not-so-smooth downhill passages, is sometimes irritating. The feeling is all the better when these tourers roll back and forth under you, the lake near Sankt Moritz in the rear-view mirrors is getting smaller and smaller. When it comes to swift cornering, the RT in particular is a wonderfully easy-to-drive maxi motorcycle. The brummer wags lightly and easily through tight curves. Once in motion, at least a whole hundredweight seems to evaporate. Thanks to the lengthways crankshaft and the high, wide handlebar, the Norge is also nimble and handy. However, she wants to be kept on course with a little force in corners. Furthermore, the smaller guzzist has to stretch his arms completely because of the long 23-liter tank, which can lead to tension in the long run.

Comfort and chassis


When I see a lake, I no longer need the sea – with these tourers, both are easily accessible.

The RT driver sits behind the short 27 liter plastic tank with a rail for the tank bag, closer to the action. There is agreement on both sides of the Alps about the best tires: Metzeler Roadtec Z6. For good reason. The winner of the test of touring sports tires in MOTORRAD 11/2006 builds up fantastic traction even on flooded roads and rolls wonderfully round on an incline. Which can suddenly go into shock on the Guzzi. At the latest on furrowed mountain passes, the short, very soft shock absorber noticeably lacks reserves. The spring and pressure stage are too soft. Even more so when a passenger steps into the extremely comfortable, one-piece seat, the rear hangs far too low. Even in solo mode, the boom of the main stand rasps over the asphalt dangerously early to the left. In passenger operation, this already occurs with homeopathic tilting angles; even to the right, the central stand gets down to business. Full preload on the completely overwhelmed shock absorber is necessary. But the hydraulic handwheel is hidden behind a screwed plastic cover. Just as rustic: In order to get to the oil dipstick, the lower panel has to be loosened with seven screws. Whatever the case, the Norge commutes on (German) expressways with a passenger and / or luggage from a speed of 160 km / h. So it is only logical that Moto Guzzi allows a maximum of 130 km / h and five kilograms of payload per side for suitcase operation.

The ESA chassis (660 euros) from BMW, which is subject to a surcharge, works much more confidently. It can take a lot more, remains unshakable. And can be easily adapted to luggage, passenger and road conditions: When the vehicle is stationary, the suspension base of the front and rear shock absorbers can be varied, the damping even while driving ?? by softig ("Comfort") above "normal" until tight ("Sports"). Brilliantly simple or simply brilliant? Equipped in this way, the Bavarese-style tourer dares to go to Lake Como, to Mandello del Lario, home port of Moto Guzzi. There is calm there (company holidays) before the storm, shortly before the 85th anniversary celebration in September. Too bad. Maybe the technicians would have pushed the GT back into the dry dock. Because oil loss on the valve cover gasket and transmission, the vibrated license plate and the rear brake line slipped out of the retaining clips make the Norge appear in an undeservedly bad light. Actually, she’s just unlucky. As a real character actor to meet the gigantic good RT, one of the best touring motorcycles ever. The R 1200 RT can do everything except make coffee.

But wait, the Norge GT has a more luxurious sister, the GTL. In addition to the GT, it also has a 44-liter topcase "TomTom"-Navigation device and, like the BMW, an electrically adjustable window. For 14,790 euros, the flagship of the Norge family is still below the base price of an RT. At a good 18,000 euros for the test motorcycle equipped with a few extras, the abbreviation RT can also be used as "really expensive" interpret. Where we are on "Swabian Sea" sit: There are still numerous sightseeing, pardon me: sea voyages. Maybe to Wannsee and Mecklenburg? Since all BMWs come from Berlin … Cast off!

Technical data Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT

Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V-engine, a chain-driven camshaft below, two valves per cylinder, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 45 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 550 W alternator, 12 V / 18 Ah battery, hydraulically operated two-disc -Dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan.

Bore x stroke 95.0 x 81.2 mm

Cubic capacity 1151 cm3

Compression ratio 9.8: 1

Rated output 68.0 kW (93 hp) at 7250 rpm

Max. Torque 96 Nm at 5500 rpm
Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
CO 1.011 / HC 0.178 / NOx 0.018

landing gear
Double loop frame made of steel, telescopic fork, Ø 45 mm, adjustable spring base, two-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 282 mm, double-piston floating caliper, SECTION.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17

Tires in the Metzeler Roadtec Z6 test
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1495 mm, steering head angle 64.5 degrees, caster 120 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
140 mm, weight with a full tank * 275 kg,
Load * 203 kg, tank capacity / reserve 23.0 /
4.0 liters.

Two year guarantee

Service intervals every 10000 km

Colors silver, blue metallic

Price including additional costs 13790 euros

Technical data BMW R 1200 RT

Air / oil-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, one balance shaft, one high each
Horizontal, chain-driven camshaft, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, bumpers, rocker arms, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 47 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 720 W alternator, 12 V / 19 Ah battery, hydraulically operated single-disc dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan.
Bore x stroke 101.0 x 73.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1170 cm3
Compression ratio 12.0: 1

Rated output 81.0 kW (110 hp) at 7500 rpm

Max. Torque 115 Nm at 6000 rpm

Pollutant values ​​(homologation) in g / km
CO 0.182 / HC 0.083 / NOx 0.027

landing gear
Load-bearing motor-gear unit, telescopic fork, Ø 35 mm, adjustable spring base, two-jointed single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly articulated, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 265 mm , Double-piston floating caliper, partially integral brake system with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17

Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test
Metzeler Roadtec Z6, back »C«

mass and weight
Wheelbase 1485 mm, steering head angle 63.4 degrees, caster 110 mm, spring travel f / h 120 /
135 mm, seat height * 830 850 mm, weight with a full tank * 285 kg, payload * 210 kg, tank capacity / reserve 27.0 / 4.0 liters.

Warranty two years

Service intervals every 10000 km

Colors gray, red, black metallic

Price 15,300 euros

Price test motorcycle ** 18075 euros

Additional costs 262 euros

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